I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve sat at my master’s feet during breakfast time, looked up with my best possible puppy dog eyes, and tried to telepathically tell them that I want to eat their cereal.
For some reason, he has always finished his bowl quickly and left me with my bowl of dry dog food. I always thought he was just a greedy human but my friend Scooby, who barks across the fence from me, told me it could be because cereal is bad for my health.
Well, in my spare time chasing squirrels and cats, I have nagged my owner to tell me why I can’t eat his breakfast. I ate his dinner once and although he was annoyed for a bit, he shouldn’t have left it on the coffee table!
One day at breakfast, I was staring longingly at my owner’s bowl and he finally said that I could have a little bit but not too much because it is not very nutritious for me. He said there are crunchy, grain-free dog treats that are better for me than human cereal.
So, I can eat some cereal but not all. If you’re as confused as me, let’s explore together and find out the truth on whether I and my canine buddies can eat cereal safely.
Can dogs eat cereal?
The short answer to this is, maybe. It always depends on the type of cereal and how much you want to give us hungry hounds.
Most cereals are safe to give to dogs but only in small amounts. There are a few kinds of cereal you should avoid though as I will show you further down.
No matter how much us pooches beg for your cereal, you should be aware that it doesn’t add very much to any dog’s diet in terms of nutritional value but if you want to give us a cereal treat for being a good boy or girl, thankfully, that is fine!
Cereal food should never be a substitute for a main meal. While small doses of grain are beneficial for our health, we shouldn’t eat a lot of grains as this can cause digestive problems and allergies in many of us.
As most cereal is grain-based, it isn’t the best or safest choice compared to other foods. You should stay clear of treating us to wheat or millet as these are too hard for dogs to digest and very harmful to those who have thyroid disorders.
You should also remember that chocolate can be deadly for us pooches so no matter how much we beg for your chocolate-covered cereal, don’t give it to us.
Here are some cereals to avoid at all costs:
- Froot Loops – These are technically safe to eat but not healthy. These are made with refined grains which are like empty calories so not essential in a dog’s diet. I’m trying to watch my figure for running on the beach this summer so keep these away from me because they contain high levels of sugars and preservatives.
- Coco Puffs – These contain chocolate so, no matter how delicious I think they look, don’t give it to me.
- Lucky Charms – Again, these could be safe to feed us pups but they’re very unhealthy. I’ll probably find it very hard to digest this cereal and due to its high sugar percentage, I’ll never get a beach body.
- Reese’s Puffs – As this contains chocolate, I can’t eat it because of possible toxicity.
- Raisin Bran – The bran part is safe to eat but the raisins can be toxic to our little bellies.
What cereals can dogs eat?
While you should avoid feeding me and other dogs sugary cereals, you should also avoid any with chocolate because of its possible toxicity to us.
I’ve had a bad belly from eating a tiny piece of chocolate before and I never want to feel like that again!
Cereal that is safe for dogs is whole-grain types with simple ingredients that don’t include wheat or millet. This can be a great treat for us hungry hounds but only in moderation.
Some cereals that are safe include:
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch – If this is given as a little snack, it won’t harm dogs but avoid if your dog is diabetic. However, there is no nutritional value to this so we’ll just end up as hungry as we did before you fed us.
- Honey Bunches of Oats – These are technically safe but are not the healthiest option. This is only safe to eat in very small quantities.
- Grits – This is made from corn which can be hard for us to digest. But, again, these are empty calories so they won’t fill us up.
- Special K – This is one of the healthiest options as it is made from mostly rice and whole grains which are safe for dogs to eat. It contains some sugar but not enough to make us unhealthy when given in small quantities.
- Corn Flakes – If your dog is allergic to corn, this should be avoided. Otherwise, this is a safe snack but nothing more as it will not improve our energy levels at all.
Oatmeal is probably the food with the most benefits as a morning snack. This helps reduce our cholesterol and lowers our chances of developing heart disease. However, this can’t replace regular dog food.
Dangers of Eating Cereal for Dogs
Cereals with high sugar content, chocolate, or toxic ingredients such as raisins or nuts, should be off-limit to us pets (like the sofa but I sit there anyway).
If cereals have over 10 grams of sugar per saving, they are very unhealthy and dangerous to our health. Sugary meals can cause digestive distress such as diarrhea while chocolate can be deadly.
If dogs eat too many sugary meals over a long time, we could become obese, leading to a risk of serious illnesses such as pancreatitis as well as tooth decay and tooth loss. If you’re a small dog like my friend Twiglet, some cereals can cause choking as they become clumped together in the milk.
Feeding me and my dog chums cereal is not recommended.
Think of cereals with high sugar contents as junk food for your dog that are unhealthy and unsafe.
Oatmeal is a better and healthier option if you want to treat us to a snack.
Anyone else hungry? Time for a healthy snack!